A Room With The View

I am sitting on the front stoep of The Homestead, wondering where to find the pause button to press. The year has flown by, and we are heading into the final stretch of another eventful year. As I write, I pause, and my eyes rest on a point on the horizon where the cobalt blue … Continued

Magic Mountain

You know summer is coming in the Cape when the South Easter starts blowing. This iconic summer wind is a convection wind, caused by the differential temperatures on the sea and the land, and the ability of the ground to heat more quickly.  When you add the Cape mountains to this mix, the South Easter … Continued

Sunshine

September marks the transition to spring from winter, and – in the Cape – it certainly ranks as one of the most beautiful months. On the farm, merely a few extra degrees of warmth awaken the vines with budburst. From there, the shoots proliferate quickly – Christo tells me you can see them growing if … Continued

Challenge accepted!

At the end of our July TeleView, I threw down the challenge to Christo, to (re)plant the incredibly rocky block adjacent to our Tasting Room. This block had previously been the origin site for some of our best Chardonnay. If you know Christo, you also know that this is the type of challenge he relishes, … Continued

The Birds and the Bees

Mid-winter is upon us, bringing our fair share of rain and cold units, which are essential for the vine’s dormancy. Temperatures in the valley have been variable, with the cold days interspersed with warmer, springlike days. More cold units are needed, so we are happy for winter to continue – and hopefully bring a few … Continued

London Calling

The world is – finally – opening back up, and it seems everyone is again travelling. It was definitely a busy month of traveling for the Oldenburg team: in early June, Vanessa, Nic and I hosted a week of events at 67 Pall Mall in London for our private clients, trade partners and media. It … Continued

Number 8

The number 8 has always been a lucky number for me. Years ago – when we lived in Singapore – my wife and I were deciding about moving to a new house. I was at the office, and asked a colleague about moving to a new area, and whether he thought it would be a … Continued

Cold Soak

With harvest wrapping up towards the end of March, and all the juice happily in the cellar, one could be forgiven for thinking, ‘jobs right – cool bananas’! This would, however, be a mistake. In April, the real work and cellar magic begins. Behind the closed doors of the Cellar, the cold soaks, pushdowns, and … Continued

Breakfast of Champions

During March, the days were long, with early starts to make the final picking decisions. Harvesting started off early enough in the mornings to ensure the grapes remained cool and fresh – and not breaking the cold chain, by placing the harvested grapes directly into our cool room, and chilling them down to 4°C. Every … Continued

…and there are weeks where decades happen

Whilst reading up on my Russian history this month (in an attempt to make some sense of Putin’s Ukrainian misadventure), I came across the following quote by Vladimir Lenin: “There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen.”.   In 2011, I was privileged to do a vertical tasting of a … Continued

Greenlight

In Matthew McConaughey’s memoir, Greenlights, he tells his story through amusing anecdotes and lessons learned, which lead to ‘greenlights’ that allowed him to move forward to the next adventure. Probably my favourite book of the year. Earlier this year, (whilst recovering from Covid), I tuned into Netflix’s Drive To Survive, a behind the scenes documentary about … Continued

Whirlwind

Every October, The Homestead dam is surrounded by a flurry of activity from a returning population of weaver birds. The male weaver birds build nests on the reeds, and the date palm. These specific locations allow them to hang the nests over the water, protecting the eggs and the young hatchlings from predators (specifically the … Continued

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